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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  November 19, 2010 1:30am-2:00am EST

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>> first up to that, a conversation with a bustling biographer on her critically acclaimed book on the life of cleopatra. she sheds new life on one of the most famous woman in all of history. the book has already been optioned as a feature film with rumors that angelina jolie might take on the leading role. apolo ohno is here, the most decorated winter olympian in u.s. history. his new book is "zero regrets."
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>> to everyone making a difference, you help us all live better. >> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. we are proud to join him in working to reform financial literacy and remove obstacles to economic empowerment one step at a time. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by captioned by the biographer.
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pulitzer prize-winning biographer. her latest book is on the life "cleopatra: a life." >> pleasure to be here. tavis: the obvious question to start with is why yet another book on cleopatra? of subject. powerful women, and you have caesar, mark antony. that. you have a woman who is authoritative, accomplished, ambitious. she gets slaughtered by history. this is wrong me i'm having ourit is a strange little moment of billing and catching my car right now not but i do not on have to go through this again and then be told a recall them and the rewind and reese book, we are talking about a started time in egypt where women could inherit property, initiate lawsuits, enter into marriages on their own. it was astonishing. tavis: what period does this text cover? >> this is her entire life. she is born until she commits its my her connections relationships, how she manages it's just kept myshe is hands
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down the wealthiest woman. tavis: not to give anything away -- >> she dies in the end.
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tavis: following his two speed skating medals, apollo has won more medals than anybody in history. good to have you on the program. do you have no regrets? >> one i chose the title of the book, i was not saying that i have no regrets. it was saying that i have a passionate pursuit of having no regrets. when i look at my life now, all of the bad decisions i have made, all of the things i could have done differently, i do not
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think i would have changed anything. they all made me the person i am today. the goal is to have no regrets. i wanted to showcase a lot of might own life lessons. to turn them into opportunities to make us a stronger person. they say that this guy bank does not have any securities. they cannot make mistakes. the reality is that a lot of great athletes have a lot of insecurities.
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they have a hard time dealing with losing. those champions and how they deal with those insecurities makes them different. >> speaking at what of having a hard time dealing with losing, the word is that when you were approached by dancing with the stars, you said that you would do this, but you have to win. >> it does not quite work that way. >> i do not have control over that period that was the deal. >> winning for you was really important. you had to win. >> make no mistake about it it. that is what fuels all of us to become champions. we want to reach that podium. that is the goal of becoming an
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olympic athlete. that is one of the driving forces. that is what makes me ache competitor by nature. we are both tired, we are both fatigue. it goes so much more beyond that. it goes to appreciating what the game is all about, appreciating the journey. so many times in our society, we focus on the end results. when we reached the end point, we realize that was never the true goal. we look back on the last four or eight years of training. those were the life lessons that i learned. tavis: how much of winning is mental. everybody that has had a personal trainer has had them saying, you can do this. it is in your head.
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how much of it is mental. >> for me, a big part of performing. i will lay at night in bed and i would defeat myself. tavis: -- >> whether it is in school or sports or what -- life in general, you have to realize there is so much competition out there. everyone's level is still the same. the one thing that is going to separate you is how you deal with those pressures. everybody is training hard. do you think the next guy is not sacrificing. the top 1% of every single country is competing on one day and there are only three spots
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on the podium. how do you differentiate yourself? tavis: how much -- it is throughout the book, obviously. but how much of your story has to do uniquely with the fact that you are the son of a japanese immigrant? >> i think it is funny you say that. my father, although coming to the united states 18 years old, becoming americanized, really kind of embracing the american culture -- there is still a large part of who he is that is japanese. and he cannot shake that. the older he gets, the more is coming out, as much as he tried to hide that and fit in as much as he can. the older i get, the more i notice i am like my father. when i was younger, i tried to back away from my father as much as i could.
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some of the philosophy, some of the life lessons, some of the things he said with me, are always prevalent in my life. it is trying to be every single thing i can be in my sport, life, relationship, business, or whatever i am pursuing.
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